At the end of last year, tornadoes in north Texas destroyed homes, killed twelve people, and caused as much destruction as you might expect of a tornado. One family near Dallas was fortunate that they were out of the country and not in their house when it was destroyed, but in the aftermath had to deal with a frustration that they didn’t need: their electric company kept sending them bills for power in their non-existent house. [More]
The saga of what happens when you try to cancel your Comcast account continues this evening with a recording of the tail end of a more than three-hour wait on Comcast’s retention line. As far as we can tell, sitting on hold with Comcast for upwards of three hours isn’t a unique experience, but not everyone is creative enough to call Comcast with another phone while still on hold… only to hear a recording informing them that the company has closed for the day.
Coby Electronics made consumer electronics, notably portable DVD players, tablets, MP3 players, and TVs. Let’s just say that they were not well-known for the quality of their merchandise, but still sold $400 million worth of gadgets per year. Until this year, when they went out of business with a whole bunch of customers’ devices due for warranty replacement. [More]
Straight Talk, the discount mobile carrier that’s a partnership between TracFone and Walmart, is very popular among our readers. What a $45 per month bring-your-own-device mobile plan gets you, though, is not top-notch customer service. Reader R. says that you don’t even get middle-notch customer service. After less than a month, he and his wife are already frustrated with the service, and one employer helpfully suggested that they leave for a different carrier. [More]
Somewhere between “no non-customers in the bathroom, no exception” and operating a mini-homeless shelter in the middle of your restaurant is a happy medium. We don’t think that compromise is the approach that a Tennessee restaurant took, which was to track down a non-customer using her license plate information and send her a bill for the restroom fee. $5. [More]
Mark’s wife is a Target employee and got them a pretty sweet discount on a Westinghouse Digital TV. That doesn’t mean that they got any special treatment when the TV broke down, though. He got the same, evidently crappy, treatment as everyone else whose relatively new TV has failed within the first month. [More]
Usually, the people who write to us are besieged with calls from telemarketers or companies they’ve done business with, and want us to help make it stop. Brett is on the other side of the phone line. He’s not the traditional telemarketer you might think of, calling ordinary citizens during dinner: his company is just business-to-business, and he was doing some cold calling to drum up business. The person who answered the phone was anything but businesslike. [More]
Kristine’s family has managed for a month without a refrigerator. Sure, if you’re a single person who subsists on takeout, that’s not so hard. Try being a family with small children and eating out of an ice chest for more than a month…starting just after Thanksgiving [More]
John bought his new Epson printer just a few months ago. He’s now attempted to use it to print photos twice, and neither attempt was successful. He found tech support discouraging: they hung up on him twice, then referred him to another office. Then, mysteriously, he was unable to log in to his Epson.com account: the site told him that it didn’t exist. At this point, he’d rather be rid of the printer entirely.
This is what Nicole’s fiancé wants: egg nog. He’s lactose intolerant, and he knows that Lactaid brand egg nog exists. Somewhere. It’s on the market, but Nicole and the future Mr. Nicole haven’t been able to find it anywhere in their area. Yes, he could take a dose of lactase enzyme and drink regular nog, but wouldn’t the lactose-free version be better if it does exist? Nicole wrote to the company to see whether they could help her find it, and they were… surprisingly unhelpful. [More]
Seth’s cashier at Target was unprofessional and immature, but that’s not what bothered him about the encounter. The real problem was with his, as Seth puts it, “homophobic insult[s].” Describing a thing that you don’t like by saying “that’s so gay” might be acceptable among your friends, if your friends are teenage boys in 1997, but it’s not how you should talk at work. Especially when your job involves working with the general public, which consists of a fascinating variety of different kinds of people. Including gay people. Like Seth. [More]
Having a problem with Call of Duty: Black Ops II? Reader CL is. He was having a problem with an in-game code, so he called up the company. The call center was supposed to be open, but had closed for the day. Well, okay: the Web chat representatives should be able to take care of this problem. They can: after an estimated 18-hour wait time. [More]
Here’s what Tim wants: to turn on his TV and watch football games in high definition. That’s pretty simple, and seems like a reasonable enough request. At least he thought so. His cable company, Bright House, advertises that they offer HD for free to their subscribers. Wow, that’s great! They quoted Tim a $29.99 rate, but failed to mention that he wouldn’t be able to receive HD without renting a cable box. You know, the HD channels that were the entire reason why he got cable in the first place.
Advice to people at restaurants and stores who have a problem with a customer: Keep it to yourself; wait until you get home and then complain about it to your spouse/roommate/pet canary. But for the love of god, please stop writing those insults down on receipts.
A few years back, after the death of her parents, Consumerist reader Jen took over the running of the house in which she’d grown up. Since then, she’s been paying the bills without problem. But now the water company wants her to pay $30 simply to change the name on the account.